Conflicts in Transcaucasia
1. The Assembly considers that maintaining the cease-fires, in force in the Transcaucasian conflicts, particularly in Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh since May 1994, should help to bring about political stabilisation in the zones of tension.
2. Following the various hearings held by its Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries, it hopes that rapid, decisive progress towards a political settlement of these conflicts will be made.
3. The three Transcaucasian countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – all hold special guest status and have applied for full membership of the Council of Europe. The Assembly considers that a genuine political will by all the parties to settle these conflicts would help to speed up the accession procedures.
4. The Assembly appeals to all parties directly or indirectly involved in these conflicts to participate constructively in the mediation work conducted on the ground, particularly by the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
5. Even though these two conflicts are different in nature, the Assembly stresses that their political settlement must be negotiated by all parties involved, drawing in particular on the following principles, which are based upon the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and the 1990 Paris Charter:
5.1. inviolability of borders;
5.2. guaranteed security for all peoples in the areas concerned, particularly through multinational peacekeeping forces;
5.3. extensive autonomy status for Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh to be negotiated by all the parties concerned;
5.4. right of return of refugees and displaced persons and their reintegration respecting human rights.
6. The Assembly considers that in the Transcaucasian countries, the Council of Europe should make a genuine contribution to establishing the rule of law, pluralist democracy, the protection of human rights and the creation of a social market economy.
In connection with Abkhazia,
7. The Assembly is interested to note certain signs of rapprochement between the positions of Tbilisi and Sukhumi and hopes that a negotiated political settlement will soon be reached on the basis of the abovementioned principles.
1. Assembly debate on 22 April 1997 (10th and 11th Sittings) (see Doc. 7793, report of the Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries, rapporteur: Mr Seitlinger). Text adopted by the Assembly on 22 April 1997 (11th Sitting).